For Vicky and Terry Jones the secret of staying together for 28 years and happily married for 22 years is being able to understand each other.
Said Terry, “To love and laugh. You’ve just got to work it out. Everything is not easy.”
Said Vicky, “I feel it (the marriage) gets better every year.”
Terry added, “It feels like you’re the right hand and the left hand. Each knows what the other is doing.”
The couple owns Vicky’s Viking Room, and Vicky is definitely the boss of the business.
Vicky recalls the time Terry showed up for work in plaid shorts and a stripped shirt, “and I sent him home to change.”
Said Terry, “I didn’t understand why I had to change, because I thought I looked pretty good.”
Terry said Vicky’s grandparents, Dick and Lou Amman, are good role models for him. Vicky said her grandmother is 94, and her grandfather is 89, and both live in Eckelson. Vicky said other good role models are wait staff Tillie Martin, who started the Valley Barber Service.
Terry said when the couple first met, Vicky was the boss and he an employee. At the time she was managing a Perkin’s Restaurant in Fort Collins, Colo. Jokingly Terry added, and “She brought me to (what he thought at the time) this god-forsaken place.”
In the intervening years, Terry has learned North Dakota is a good place to live. “I changed my mind. It made me tougher – I still freeze though.”
Terry said they first really noticed each other “when she (Vicky) fell, and I caught her before she hit the floor, and here we are, almost 30 years later.”
The couple moved from Colorado to North Dakota in 1995, where Vicky had family. Said Terry, “It was the year of blizzard and bad ice storms. First Fargo, then Valley City. We started a good life here, and it’s been going strong every since.”
The couple has three children, all sons: Christopher, 22; Justin, 20 and Joshua, 18. All three still live in the family’s Valley City home. All three were born in Fort Collins, and grew up in North Dakota.
Terry said although originally from Colorado, “All my family is now here and my kids here (at the restaurant) all my wonderful workers. We are kind of a family. We take care of our college kids.”
Vicky said Terry serves as kind of a host for the restaurant. “I do the back, and he does the front. He’s good with people. If it weren’t for the customers, we wouldn’t be here.”
A native of Valley City, Vicky first moved to Fargo with her mother, and later moved to Colorado.
In Colorado she first worked as a cook in a psychiatric hospital, then was promoted to manager. “That put me in charge of a pretty good-sized food operation.”
She moved back to Valley City in 1994, worked at a Perkins Restaurant in Fargo first as cook, then as front-end manager.
After leaving Perkins she took some time off, then began working at Mercy Hospital.
Vicky’s mother, artist Jonie Altringer of Fargo, did the paintings the restaurant is now decorated with.
Her brother, Kevin Schlager, owner of K & S Carpet Cleaning, is also helping with the business.